By Thomas Catenacci
Confusion over mail-in ballots caused voting in the Washington, D.C., primary to stretch late into the night Tuesday, according to the DCist.
The District’s primary election, plagued by complaints from voters who said they never received mail-in ballots, comes amid debate over the security and efficiency of voting by mail.
Many D.C. voters complained they never received mail-in ballots, according to at-large member of the D.C. City Council Elissa Silverman.
Silverman tweeted Tuesday that she was “averaging an email a minute” from voters who never received a mail-in ballot Tuesday afternoon. More than 90 thousand absentee ballots were supposed to be sent out according to the D.C. Board of Elections.
Voters who didn’t receive their ballot were forced to go to a physical polling place to cast their vote.
At 12:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, hours after polls were supposed to close, council member Silverman tweeted that there were more than 60 voters in line at one local polling place. “I am thankful for these voters and livid at the Board of Elections,” Silverman said.
D.C. officials had encouraged voting by mail to avoid having people congregate during the coronavirus pandemic, the DCist reported.
President Donald Trump has been at the center of the debate over nationwide mail-in ballots. Trump tweeted last week that mail-in ballots will be “substantially fraudulent.” He also attacked governors who are in favor of mail-in voting.
Some Republican officials have worried that Trump’s crusade against mail-in voting could wind up hurting the party come November, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
Democrats have requested mail-in ballots at a higher rate than Republicans in Pennsylvania, an important 2020 swing state, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
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